Surrender seems like an ethereal concept, one that takes more than power of will to remove the ego and to just let go. When stubbornness gets in the way of true change, we find that we’re stuck with old software uploaded into the most complex computer on earth — our brains.
We desire to improve but are often in the way of our own progress because unconsciously we continue to trigger emotions that reinforce negative childhood experiences, hold onto outdated beliefs and recreate negative behaviors, those of which we were taught long ago. We haven’t found a way to uninstall the old software and reprogram our brain with new, improved and healthier software that we’ve personally designed. It is not based upon forced ideals from circumstances, environment or society.
If we could only comprehend how much power we have over the results we wish to see in our lives, we’d stop doubting our capabilities and value the power we hold within us. It goes way beyond the overused concept of “self-esteem” and having “self confidence.” Plenty of successful people have confidence, but they lack the capability to expand outside of their box and welcome change regardless of how flawless their lives appear to be or what they’ve gained externally and the versions of themselves that they flaunt. Everyone today can create a social media profile, one that allows for a perfectly catered exterior and tastefully chosen posts in order to boast and throw up the illusion of an unblemished life.
But, no one truly lives in some one else’s shoes. Most people don’t openly enjoy admitting their flaws, imperfections and struggles. Instead everyone wants to put their best foot forward to reflect the most optimum personal and professional profile that will earn them the best shots at acceptance. Our society has told us that it is not good to feel depressed, unhappy, discontent and negative. And if we should feel these terrible feelings then we must learn to think positive or find gratitude in our circumstances in order to change these human and very natural and necessary feelings. We need to be happy and be happy all the time. We have to smile and manifest abundance in our lives in order for the fruits of our labor to be displayed to give us reason and purpose. Our fruits of our labor are also a demonstration to others just how successful we are and that makes us feel good about ourselves. For some, what we have and what we’ve achieved gives us meaning and forms our identity. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because hard work pays off and we should be proud of our accomplishments.
However, take away your new job promotion, big title, degrees, stocks, property, cars, and homes and now how worthy do you feel? But take away the gluttonous amount of accumulated things, all which we are told (or sold) makes us feel good, all that is external and at the end of the day in the silence and darkness of the night; you are only faced with yourself and what is within you, not outside of you. Rather than explore the root of sadness, we are told that sadness and depression is evil. They are bad, terrible feelings and they are negative energy vampires. But what happens when we don’t face them? Better yet, what happens if the world could only feel happiness and there was no other feeling?
Without sorrow, sadness, depression, and disappointment how could we possibly value love, hope, happiness and learn from our adversities or the lessons brought to us by some of these feelings we’re told are awful? What if during the most depressing, lowest moment in your life, when you feel all hope or options might be totally gone, that you are actually meant to learn one of the greatest life lessons? What if it is in your worst moment, you finally awaken to your true purpose? In The Power of Now Eckarte Tolle describes the darkest moments of his life:
“One night, not long after my 29th birthday, I woke up in the early hours with a feeling of absolute dread. I had woken up with such a feeling many times before, but this time it was more intense than it had ever been before. The silence of the night, the vague outlines of furniture in the dark room, the distant noise of a passing train— everything felt so alien, so hostile, and so utterly meaningless, that it created a deep loathing in me: A deep loathing of the world. The most loathsome thing of all, however, was my own existence. What was the point in continuing to live with this burden of misery? Why carry on with this continuous struggle? I could feel that a deep longing for annihilation, for non-existence, was now becoming much stronger than the instinctive desire to continue to live.”
Tolle made it a point to explain that how this dark moment, this feeling of suffering and unhappiness, made him the spiritual teacher and author he is today. It’s not in the happy or joy-filled moments when we’re told we’re doing a great job or we’re given an award or a raise or land that dream job that carve out who we are and our purpose in life. It is during the lowest moments and following the worst of tragedies that we find out what we’re truly made of, that we test our mettle to unearth the power to continue and discover that we qualify to redefine ourselves as a survivor and not a victim. We find that surrender is the most honest thing anyone can ever do, the most pure form of selflessness and love you can give to yourself and others. Because when you surrender it’s not simply burying your head in the sand but it’s accepting in the moment of any circumstance, challenge or life change that you are transitioning into the next phase in your life. You are graduating into becoming a new and improved you. In order to do this you must surrender, even to the most difficult challenge before you. Because it’s not in the “think positive” that will help you through this, it’s not in the pretense and façade that provides neither hope for us nor is it a solution to any predicament.
The solution sometimes is as simple as knowing that you should try everything humanly possible to be and do your best. You should try to treat others in the way you’d want to be treated. Give freely without any expectation of getting anything in return and be completely honest with yourself while staying true to who you are. In the end the only thing that you can do is accept yourself and be at peace with where you are, knowing that you are capable. What you achieve might not always be considered success in the eyes of the rest of the world or present itself by traditional means, but you know the adversities you overcame and that you did all that you are capable of with the tools you’ve not only been given but that you also developed out of the passion and creativity inside you. That’s a gift unique to you and that no one else can give you – or take away. Once you’ve done absolutely everything to the best of your abilities, then rest assured you’ve also learned that you can’t control anything or anyone else except for you.
The Bottom Line:
Surrender the results, answers, questions, control and the unknown. Let go. Once you’ve done all you can do, let go. Surrender and accept. Ultimately, the place you are right now is exactly where you’re supposed to be. Any life lesson no matter how difficult won’t break us, not if we let it. As the New Year approaches, it is in being receptive and open to change what we can sum up our list of goals.
As long as you are willing to rewrite the software in your brain, you can create a new program to live by, one that isn’t dictated by old blueprints of past trauma, childhood guilt or hurt. You can design the life you want for yourself. Just keep it simple. If we can simplify all of our goals, we can more easily identify the main objective we are striving toward: To change what we can change in our lives and hope to have the follow-through to ensure that the change or changes are lasting and meant to better the quality of our lives as a whole. What all those changes are whether it be professional or personal are irrelevant details.
Surrender the rest and let go of the expectations of knowing everything and having all the answers right now. This is not religious, spiritual or based upon any belief system other than a universal principle I strongly feel transcends dogma. Most of the time, maybe not always or as fast as we’d like, but it’s true that usually results come when they’re supposed to and things really do happen in its intended timing.
Dedicated to my youngest sister, who is currently in Costa Rica undergoing an amazing and personal journey of lasting change and growth as well as total mind, body and spirit transformation. Thank you for inspiring me, as always. I love you and I am proud of the woman you have become.